L'Oréal Canada gains access to local tech startups with new partnership

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Patrick Gagné, CEO, OSMO (left); Frank Kollmar, Président & CEO, L’Oreal Canada; Valérie Forget, Director Programs, OSMO; Robert Beredo, CDO, L’Oreal Canada (photo courtesy of CNW Group/L'Oréal Canada Inc.)
Patrick Gagné, CEO, OSMO (left); Frank Kollmar, Président & CEO, L’Oreal Canada; Valérie Forget, Director Programs, OSMO; Robert Beredo, CDO, L’Oreal Canada (photo courtesy of CNW Group/L'Oréal Canada Inc.)
In the hands of a multinational beauty company like L’Oréal, any tech can become beauty tech, a minor detail that is not lost on the leadership of L'Oréal Canada or its new partner OSMO. And so, the two distinctly different ventures are working together and calling for proposals from startups ready to build better beauty tech.

OSMO is a non-profit, founded in 2009, that supports the learning and connectedness of entrepreneurs in and around Montreal, Québec. And this new deal with L’Oréal “is part of OSMO's vision to bring local entrepreneurs and global corporations together,” ​according to a media release the beauty maker issued late last week.

“Digital technology has radically transformed L'Oréal in the world and in Canada,​” says Frank Kollmar, CEO of L'Oréal Canada, in the media release. “New technologies, on the other hand, open up new horizons to beauty and a partnership like the one with OSMO, will contribute greatly to the achievement of our goal of being a pioneer, champion and leader of beauty tech,”​ Kollmar tells the press.

Call for proposals

Until May 10, the L’Oréal Open Innovation Group is accepting applications from beauty tech startups. According to the OSMO page detailing the opportunity, “L’Oréal Canada is looking to partner with innovative startups to revolutionize beauty through groundbreaking technology and innovation.” ​And there are 3 main areas of beauty tech that are of interest to L’Oréal just now: beauty tech services, predictive intelligence, and conversational AI.  

Select proposals will advance to a competitive event know as Challenge Day (set for June 20), the formal program will begin July 2, and participating beauty tech startups will showcase their work on Demo Day (September 20).

Local meets global

“Entrepreneurs and large organizations definitely have an interest in working hand in hand,” ​says Patrick Gagné, CEO of OSMO. And he goes on to explain that “OSMO's goal is to bring big companies closer to the startup ecosystem in the next few years. We are very proud to count on the support of L'Oréal Canada as one of our main partners.”

The deal between OSMO and L'Oréal Canada doesn’t just benefit local entrepreneurs and regional business; it creates a bridge to a global network of experience, access, and consumer awareness. “This partnership with OSMO is part of L'Oréal Canada's digital strategy, one of whose goals is to always be on the lookout for and at the forefront of technological innovations,”​ explains Robert Beredo, CDO of L'Oréal Canada, who also notes that, “The proximity to the Montreal start-up community will allow us greater accessibility to innovative technologies, but also an opportunity to partner and collaborate with the exceptional talent Montreal has to offer.”

To learn more or apply to participate in the 2019 OSMO and L’Oréal Canada edition of the Innovation Challenge, click here​.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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